Becoming Talent First - Understanding Your Skills Framework

Can you currently effectively identify and address your talent and skills gap?

In an evolving world of work, the only constant is the change that comes with it. The role of talent has been revolutionised by the use of data but still, we hear about talent functions not truly understanding their current business situation before trying to develop.

Where does your current focus lie within your talent journey? Is there more focus on recruitment than retention? Do you have an understanding of your current talent infrastructure?

The BTN was recently delighted to partner with Beamery, the leading Talent Lifecycle Management organisation, for an exclusive roundtable with some of the leading people across Financial Services. The open and interactive discussion was hosted by the sensational Matt Smith (Regional Vice President of Sales (UK) at Beamery) and James Ballard (Founding partner and Executive Search Lead at Annapurna Recruitment), which brought about the following takeaways: 

Utilising data is key within all stages of the skills journey

Few skills have the power to hold such sway over the course of our lives as learning, but for such a vital skill, the steps we go through on the learning journey are not always easy or greatly understood. Many UK-headquartered companies have lost a lot of potential talent due to Brexit, which means companies need to learn to develop their own talent.

Technology is not always the solution but offers itself up as an enabler to help with a lot of the challenges that come along the skills journey. Companies need to ask themselves, what do we need compared to what do we have? With the advances in technology, data and data scientist capabilities, organisations should be able to discover what their situation is at any specific moment. Organisations need to be investing in their own people and aim to grow and develop their skills on their own. It’s not about what courses companies can offer, but it’s about how companies can create activities and experiences to gain capabilities and enhance their employees' CVs. There are large amounts of work that need to happen around learning and development to understand how to bridge that gap. When looking at skills, companies need to think about how they baseline their workforce to understand whom they have and how they keep that talent fresh and current. The challenge, however, is understanding what you have, how you can get there and how you can think outside the box.

It was mentioned that corporate organisations do not do enough within the educational sector, such as within schools and universities. Organisations should be liaising early on in people's journeys, educating future talent on the skills needed for the future so that they are prepared. They need to transform people’s perspectives so they can get better at finding new talent. Organisations need to rationalise the data that they have so that they can bring people on the development journey and create that pathway. Once this is done, they can come to you with better programmatic interventions to help people on their journey. The data may be provided, however integrating it is one of the many challenges that organisations face. So how can you make sure the data is continuously updated? It was discussed that, if you are taking degreed learning pathways then this can help massively with the development of that transactional data. It’s not about simply having data but learning how to incorporate data in firms.

Some may question, where is technology going and how can we keep up? Tech can help bridge the gap between what skills someone has and what companies can do to help figure out what else can be done with the skills they already have. At Beamery, they are able to help identify how to start the journey and the challenge of engaging with your people. This can simply be done by using the advances in technology to help empathise with individuals and check on things like their mental health. Using data to be able to engage with peers is key. However, some may argue that although technology can help, the variable actually comes down to the manager. So how can you help without adding to the noise? For some, the challenge lies within certain skillsets. Companies need to start investing in schools, and people and bringing that early talent to the table. Companies need to get in as early as possible and show their value to potential future leaders.


Organisations must be digitally literate when it comes to internal mobility

As more and more companies around the world struggle with employee retention and turnover, one topic should be at the top of every HR professional’s mind and that is internal mobility. 

Some individuals feel as though they have stagnated and feel that moving externally will help them move onto the next level. Therefore, if organisations can showcase career paths, then perhaps more people will stay within their firms. In other countries aside from the UK, retention is better, this is because employees are paid better and therefore end up staying. However, this can become extremely costly if the focus on retention is not right. Employees need to actually want to be there and see opportunities for them to progress. Companies need their employees to be productive so that they can perform better.

Organisations need to start taking control with things like flexibility. Employees want to feel valued and creating a company culture that offers flexible working can go a long way in retaining top talent. When looking at skills, shifting skills can be challenging. Companies need to try and use technology more to find these people and take them on the journey to where they need to get.

So how does a company identify what people really have the potential for and how can they measure it? Companies should aim to have internal marketing experiences which are where people can talk about their successful experiences within the company. It all comes down to who has the key skills and capabilities. Many people have skills that could be bridged to new skills, but this may not be something that managers can see. It’s all about how you can collect all the data about your experiences and have it all in one place. Inclusivity and diversity are key for every organisation and this is why some firms are failing because they are not thinking more widely about people’s abilities and potential. It’s about the outside in and bringing different opportunities and fresh ideas into the company. Companies need to stop looking elsewhere or hiring people that come from well-known brands, instead, they need to start noticing that the real talent and potential come from within the organisation. 


Firms must spend the same amount of time and money on their employees as they do their customers

Managing employee retention involves strategic actions to keep employees motivated and focused so they elect to remain employed and fully productive for the benefit of the organisation. So what are some companies doing in terms of the experience piece on helping improve retention within the workplace? Many firms get involved in employee surveys or polls as a way to give feedback on what their employees think about the company. Designing interventions allows companies to do some testing and see where they can improve.

It was also mentioned that there are more sophisticated ways to gain sentimental analysis. Some companies are spending too much time and money on user experience and for their customer, but not enough for their own employees. Employee experience is just as important, which has a direct impact on purpose and retention. Companies need to start focusing on their people as they are ultimately what look after the customers. Some companies are simply too focused on service that they are forgetting about their employees, which therefore results in poor employee experience, engagement and retention. If companies are able to develop a comprehensive employee retention program, then it can play a vital role in both attracting and retaining key employees, as well as in reducing turnover and its related costs. All of these contribute to an organisation's productivity and overall business performance. It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same quality. 


In an evolving world of work where change and technology are constantly happening, it is important that firms utilise the data, technology and talent that is provided to them in order to help retain and satisfy both their customers and employees. Where we start is just as important as the end goals of where we'd like to get to.


About Beamery

Beamery’s Talent Lifecycle Management platform allows enterprises to create more human experiences for all talent, and unlock the skills and potential of their global workforce. We help organizations identify and acquire top talent, move the needle on DE&I, close key skill gaps and retain top performers. We’re on a mission to create equal access to work.

Leveraging an industry-first AI-powered Talent Graph, Beamery’s Talent Lifecycle Management platform helps organisations realise their business potential. They can identify and prioritise candidates that are likely to thrive at their organisation, reach diversity targets, unlock career ambition opportunities for existing employees, and understand the skills and capabilities they need to build their workforce of the future.

Beamery is one of the fastest-growing companies in the world and we’re excited to have recently raised a $138m Series C.